How to Bet on Football – Ultimate Football Betting Guide


Football betting has exploded in popularity in recent years. With the legalisation and growth of sports betting in the US, more fans than ever are trying their hand at wagering on football games. However, for beginners, understanding the basics of betting lines, platforms, strategies, and potential pitfalls takes some guidance. This ultimate guide breaks down everything you need to know to bet on football games like a seasoned pro.


The first key to football betting is understanding the different types of wagers and how to interpret the odds. The main options are:

Moneyline Odds

This is a straight bet on which team will win the game. Odds are based on the perceived probabilities of each outcome and are expressed in positive and negative values:

Favorites have unfavourable odds (e.g., 200)

You must risk more to win less

Underdogs have favourable odds (e.g. +150)

You risk less to win more

For example:

Here, the Patriots are favoured at -200 odds, meaning you’d need to bet $200 to win $100. The Jets are underdogs at +150, so a $100 bet could win $150.

Also Read: How Does Sports Betting Work: Betting Odds Explained!

Point Spreads

The point spread handicaps the favourite by “giving” points while “taking” points from the underdog to even out the chances of each team covering the spread.

For example:
Patriots-7 (-110)
Jets+7 (-110)

The Patriots must win by 8+ points to cover the -7 spread. The Jets cover by winning outright or losing by six or fewer. The -110 odds on both sides refer to the vig, which is the profit margin for the sportsbook. It means you must bet $110 to win $100.


over under betting

Totals betting involves wagering on the combined score of both teams. Sportsbooks set a benchmark total points line, and you bet whether the final score will finish Over or Under that line:

Total Points LineOdds
Over 45.5 points-105
Under 45.5 points-105

Both teams’ combined score must exceed 45 points for the Over to cash. If it stays at 45 or less, the Under wins.

First-half/Halftime Bets

These wagers focus on the outcome of a game’s first or second half. The odds and bet types work the same way as regular full-game bets, except applied to only part of the contest. You can bet first-half point spreads, money lines, totals or a combination. Halftime lines take shape during the break as oddsmakers digest the first 30 minutes and set updated numbers.


Parlays involve bundling together two or more picks under one wager. This ratchets up the risk and exponentially boosts the possible payout if all legs win.


For example, hitting three +200 moneyline underdogs separately pays $600 from a $100 three-part bet. Under a $100 three-team parlay, those picks soaring to +750 odds pay a mammoth $7,500 if perfect.


Teasers let you adjust the point spread or total in your favour by a fixed number of points. Football teasers commonly manipulate lines by 6, 6.5 or 7 points. Similar to parlays, teasers bundle together at least two picks. However, “teasing” each spread or total down upgrades underdogs or overs, making the wager more likely to cash. However, as with any derivative bets, the payoff odds diminish significantly compared to standard bets.


These season-long bets typically have long shelf lives, with odds adjusting over the duration. Common futures include Super Bowl winner, team win totals, and player awards like MVP and Rookie of the Year. Futures present immense early value opportunities. Accurately projecting results days, weeks or months down the road is challenging for oddsmakers. This allows savvy bettors to extract excellent odds by moving quickly in response to line shifts.


With sports betting exploding across the US, bettors have more options than ever for placing wagers. Here are vital factors to consider when choosing platforms:

You’ll generally have a choice between betting online offshore or with state-regulated domestic sportsbooks. New state markets feature the latest tech innovations but offer more limited markets. Offshore sites serve the US with hundreds more weekly football games and diverse betting options.


football tips

While betting on instinct can sometimes pan out, making informed, strategic decisions based on data and matchups leads to more profitable results. Here are vital tips for beginners:

  • Always compare lines to find discrepancies and value plays in the weekly slate.
  • Shop for the best promo odds boosts to maximise profits long-term.
  • Keep detailed bet tracking records to analyse good and bad habits.
  • Maintain a dedicated betting bankroll separate from other finances.

Avoid traps like betting favourites only, chasing losses, and betting more than 1-5% of your bankroll per wager. Implementing disciplined habits takes time but creates a pathway to sustaining betting success.


Once you grasp the basics, exploring more advanced techniques opens up more significant profit potential:

Player and game props carry inflated odds because they live in obscured markets. Finding +EV here involves studying historical stat lines, usage rates and opposing defensive strengths and weaknesses. Digging for angles in player props like receptions for a WR matched up with a weak CB unearths routine overlays other misses.

Futures see the most efficient line moves but still hold value for savvy bettors. Accurately projecting full seasons demands vast data analysis that models schedule strength, roster continuity, free agency impact, and coaching scheme changes. Distilling noise into actionable power rankings and winning total forecasts pays off hugely, betting early line discrepancies.

Profitable parlays blend multiple +EV bets carrying substantial upside. Moving lines, injuries and action demanding inside info makes this easier said than done. But patient bettors can isolate 2-3 solid bets with overlaid money lines weekly, then parlay them to richen payouts. Resist forcing parlays and wait for prime overlaps concentration value.

Derivative markets focus on segments of games, like first-half spreads and totals or individual quarters over/under. These seem the less sharp play, so recognising macro edges early and pouncing on opening mispriced numbers reward astute line shoppers. Derivatives introduce more variance but let skilled bettors magnify smaller edges by isolating critical situations.


common mistakes to avoid
Implementing proper practices takes discipline, as these impulsive mistakes can sink bankrolls fast:
  • It was tilting – Making emotional bets to recover previous losses or chasing juice-heavy parlays.
  • Personal biases – Blindly betting on favorite teams only clouds objective decision-making.
  • Taking wrong numbers – Failing to line shop eats into potential long-term profits.
  • Overlooking critical information – Not factoring injuries, weather, referees and other situational elements into your picks leaves value on the table. Stay on top of breaking developments before betting.
  • Poor bankroll management – Lacking a dedicated sports betting bankroll and a clear staking plan is reckless. Determine affordable loss limits and bet sizing aligned to your edge.
  • Betting every game – Not every game, team or player presents an edge. Be selective and patient, only firing when you pinpoint +EV opportunities. Less volume with precision converts better than spraying bets aimlessly.
  • Chasing losses – Desperately firing more picks and increasing stakes after losing days rarely ends profitably. Recommit to strict process rules instead of spiralling further.

Also Read: How To Play 3 Card Poker: Must-Know Tips And Strategies!



While more states regulate betting within their borders yearly, federal laws still prohibit interstate online wagering. Offshore sites offer betting apps and convenient banking to fill this void. They are licensed and regulated in their jurisdictions to provide legal NFL, college football and other sports betting to US residents. Whether betting legally online offshore or with state sites, practising responsible gambling habits is vital:

  • Set deposit limits aligned with your bankroll plan
  • Take personal days off from betting when needed
  • Use site-provided responsible gaming tools
  • Only bet what you can afford to lose

If gambling stops being fun and feels out of control, call 1-800-GAMBLER for free, confidential support.


Football betting presents exciting profit potential for fans every fall Saturday and Sunday. By learning the critical fundamentals around odds, bankroll strategy, and responsible betting, novice bettors can develop skills responsibly to thrive in the long term. Follow these tips to avoid pitfalls and optimise profits this football season.

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